About The Books

In response to numerous requests outside of academia I generated workshops to show casual teachers: Syrian refugee hosts, travelers, church volunteers, exchange student families... how to teach Spoken English. The Backpacker books were born of the notes from those successful workshops. Cracking the Code, Need For Speed, and You Don't Say systematically unpack the foibles of spoken English in a straightforward way giving trained and untrained instructors a viable place to stand. If you’d like to make a living teaching Spoken English, the books can make that work too.
The series includes the context for speaking as different from writing, assessment tools, graphs, charts and lessons. Although each book has value independently, Pronunciation, Conversation and Fluency work best as a complete system. Now anyone who can read English can effectively coach any level of learner with the Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English.

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The Backpacker Series

Pronunciation
What’s wrong with English is the crazy alphabet. The 26 letters don’t represent the 40+ sounds. In this book you’ll find the story of how English came to be two different languages – written and spoken, a simple sound alphabet so people can finally see what English sounds like and the tools for comparing English to any other language to expedite learning. Begin your language journey with Pronunciation today!
Conversation
English is a generous and forgiving language. It tolerates infinite grammar mistakes, endless pronunciation variations and countless accents. What makes English conversation work for anyone are the three simple patterns that are always true. In this book are the three rules for how dialogue works including the inside track for fast listening so learners can get into the game of conversation as quickly and successfully as possible.
Fluency
English is abstract. Fluency is in expressions, humor, voice qualities, context, innuendo and gestures. Meaning is rarely in the words a native speaker uses. How does anyone tell that red chair is a chair colored red and red tape is bureaucracy? The brain leap required to speak English fluently is in this book and so are the guidelines for decoding non-verbal cues which are estimated as 80% of the message!